Northwestern students take the Ozobots challenge
Northwestern Lehigh Middle School Mr. Kulp – 8th Grade Science
Students in Mr. Kulp’s eighth-grade science class honed skills in critical thinking, programming and spatial orientation during a recent Enrichment and Intervention period activity. The students have been receiving short tutorials on the basics of programming and critical thinking to solve tasks. They act as operators to code robots how to do specific tasks. The class started out with simple challenges, such as making directions for stacking colored cups in different patterns, and progressed into moving a little Ozobot character on their Chromebooks with simple directions. For the hands-on activity, students employed the Ozobots, which are programmable robots that will move, turn and change colors based on coded directions, exactly like the robot in a game on the screen. The students’ challenge was to start the Ozobot in the center of a rectangular shape roughly the size of a piece of paper and program it to move around and knock over small bowling pins. The students learned that coding on the computer does not always translate perfectly in real-life situations. They employed great critical thinking skills and trial and error to complete their task. The class followed up on the next enrichment day with a similar challenge where they had to program the Ozobot to zigzag between the pins without knocking them over. This activity employs spatial reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, real life application, teamwork and is engaging to learners on a variety of levels.